arnebeth Reckoned unclean on the ground that it "chews the cud, but divideth not the hoof" (Leviticus 11:6; Deuteronomy 14:7). It brings up from the (esophagus and chews again its food; but there is no genuine rumination, neither it nor the hyrax ("coney") or shaaphan have the special stomach of the ruminants. Rodent animals, as the hare and the hyrax, keep down the undue growth of their teeth, which grow during life, by grinding with their jaws. The sacred legislator did not design the classification of a scientific naturalist or a comparative anatomist, but to furnish a popular mode of recognizing animals the flesh of which was not to be eaten. The rule in Deuteronomy 17:27, "whatsoever goeth upon his paws" (as the dog, cat, and beasts of prey), sufficiently excludes from the clean the hyrax and the hare. The Parsees still abominate the hare.
The hare, though having a divided foot, has not a cloven hoof, which was a requisite for legal cleanness. True ruminants have four stomachs, molar teeth, and a jawbone suited for the circular movement of chewing the cud. The hare has none of these marks, and has in the upper jaw incisor teeth, which ruminants have not. But hares retain the cropped food within the hollows of their cheeks and masticate it at leisure, which in phenomenal language is "chewing the cud," and is so described by even so close an observer of nature as the poet Cowper. The ancient Britons rejected it as food. The Palestinian hare, Lepus Syriacus, was of a fur buff or yellowish-grey color, the hare of the desert (Lepus Sinaiticus) darker and smaller. The rabbit (Lepus cuniculus) seems to be unknown in Syria and Israel.